Washington, Mar.3 (ANI): The United States has once again clarified that it would not mediate talks between India and Pakistan while stressing that both countries have legitimate security interests in Afghanistan.
Talking to reporters here, President Obama's Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke said all the three countries Afghanistan, Pakistan and India share a common strategic goal in the region.
"And in order to understand America's policy and America's policy dilemma, one has to understand that both India and Pakistan have legitimate security interests in the region. India has a legitimate interest even though they don't have a common border (with Afghanistan)," Holbrooke said.
"That's why President Obama has said we encourage any sort of dialogue between the two countries, and Afghanistan is not the core of the issue, but it is a part of the issue," The News quoted Holbrooke, as adding.
Underlining that Washington has 'good relations with both India and Pakistan,' Holbrooke said: "It is our view that it is in our national interest to improve relations with both countries - not at the expense of the other."
He also pointed out that long pending river water sharing issue between New Delhi and Islamabad is one of the most important issues facing both the neighbouring nations.
"Among other very critical issues, water is a huge issue...and increasingly on our trips, people in both countries talk about water - and overall security relationships," Holbrooke said.
tate Department spokesman Philip Crowley also reaffirmed that the White House 'encouraged both India and Pakistan to continue their dialogue.'
"They are neighbours. As Richard (Holbrooke) just said, share the same strategic space. So we will continue to talk to both countries and encourage the very kind of dialogue we saw in recent days," Crowley said while referring to the February 25 foreign secretary level talks in New Delhi.
"This is about the future relationship between two important allies. It is really for India and Pakistan to establish the kind of dialogue we think is in the long-term interest of both ountries," he said in reply to a query that whether the US was playing a 'greater' role other than encouraging talks between both countries. (ANI)